Dusan's Law Codex was one of the first laws in the
medieval Europe. By that very few European countries
had the issues of everyday life and the state
regulated by a legal document.
those regulations are cruel for the standards of the
21st century but some are surprisingly fair and
positive. Of course, we must bear in mind that this
law with more than 200 stipulations was created in
1349 and somewhat reformed in 1354.
read some of the most interesting articles of this Law
Codex right here or download it in its entirety when
it gets available on this web site.
Coming Home From the Army: When a nobleman or
any other soldier returns home from the army, and if
such man is called to the court by a judge, let him
rest home for 3 weeks and then he must go to the
the Army: If someone is in the army forces
and destroys a church, that man is to be killed and
the Army: The troops that are moving through
the emperor's land, and if one troop comes into a
village, the next troop must go to another village.
If a church headmaster is found that he has taken a
bribe, that man is to be beaten and kicked out the
#25. On Church Managing:
Church is to be governed by His Majesty the Emperor
and the Patriarch and the Court Chancellor.
#120. On Customs Officials:
Customs Official is not allowed to distract or stop
any man or to sell his goods for a small sum; everyone
is allowed to walk through the squares or to move
freely wherever one likes.
About a Drunkard: If a drunkard hurts
someone, spill one's blood but does not kill, an eye
must be taken out and one arm must be cut to that
drunkard; if a drunken man takes someone's hat or rips
someone's clothes and disgrace a man, that drunkard is
to be beaten with 100 sticks, thrown in jail and
beaten again and then he is to be set free.
Dungeons: All dungeons, by my Faith, are to
be held in the same way. No man is to be thrown in
without proper written order.
Forgery: If it is found that in an official
letter some false word is written, and other words
have been altered in an other way than my Lordship had
commanded, then that letter is to be destroyed and the
whole property will be taken from the man who did
On Graves: The people who are taken
out from the graves with the means of sorcery and then
burnt, that village who did that crime must pay 300
perpers, and if a priest was there, he is to be thrown
out from the Church.
On Guests or Travelers: If it happens
that some things are stolen from a guest or a trader
or a monk, or he is attacked by a thief and robbed,
those robbed people are to come to my court, by my
Faith, and my Lordship will pay for their loss and my
royal Excellence will order to the local noblemen to
secure and guard that road. And if even then a trader
or even a Catholic is robbed, then a trial must be
held, let those people say honestly what they had lost
and those noblemen and guards who were obliged to
guard that road will pay for their material loss.
the Judges: Every decision of a judge must be
put on the paper and made in 2 copies - one for the
court and the other for the man who has been set free.
the Judges: All the judges are to judge
according the Law not being afraid of my emperor's
mood or will.
the Law: If my Lordship writes a letter
because We love or hate someone, or plead mercy for
someone and it happens that the letter is opposed to
the Law, the judges are not to obey that letter but
they are to judge according the Law and justice.
Calumny: If a man is found who tells lies,
calumnies and false statements in order to gain
something, that man is to be punished as a thief and a
On Mountains: Those mountains that
are our land of my Emperor's will, those mountains
belong to the Emperor, mountains of the Church belong
to the Church and the mountains of the noblemen belong
to those noblemen - everyone must get what he owns.
On Wedding: Noblemen and the rest of
the population must not be wed without the blessing of
their priests or those chosen by their church masters.
On Wedding: Wedding feast cannot be
performed without the religious ceremony, and if it
happens that wedding was held without the blessing and
permission of the Church, those people are to be
separated because they haven't been properly wed.
Murder: If a murder happens, the one who
started it is the guilty one, even if he is dead.
Feeding the Poor: In all churches the poor
are to be fed like the Founder said; and if someone of
the church officials refuses to do so, then that man
is to be disgraced and thrown out from the Church.
#64. On a
poor Woman: Poor washerwoman is free like the
#73. On a
poor Woman: If a poor woman is not capable of
speaking in front of the court, she has the right to
have someone speaking in her name.
Selling the Christians
On Selling the Christians: The man
who sells a Christian in a country of non-believers,
his arm is to be cut and his tongue taken out.
On Traders: The traders that are
moving across the Emperor's land can't be distracted
by a nobleman or any other man, trader's goods and
money can't be taken away. Who has done this is
obliged to pay 500 perpers.
Violation of a Lady
#53. If it
happens that a nobleman has taken a lady against her
will, his both hands are to be cut and his nose too;
if a common man violates a lady, he is to be hanged
and if he takes his married companion against her will
then his both hands and nose are to be cut.
#109. If it is
found that a person uses sorcery and if it is proved
to be an evil man, that person is to be punished
according the Law of the Holly Fathers.
On Traders: If a trader comes into a
village but he is not taken in by the village master,
and if it happens that the trader has been robbed,
those village and its master must pay for that